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The imperial guard

Massachusetts is still a bit heady, after electing its first Democrat governor in 16 years. (Possessing both US Senate seats, all 10 US House seats, over 85% of both Houses, and pretty much every other elected position in the Commonwealth hasn't been enough for them.) But their new governor, Deval Patrick (elected under the clarion call "Together We Can"), has had a few stumbles out of the blocks.

For a state facing a 1.3-billion-dollar deficit, Governor Patrick has decided to spend his way to budget relief. In the month or so he's held office, he's instituted the following measures:

  • Hired a chief of staff for his wife to the tune of $72,000 a year.
  • Bought new drapes for his office at the bargain-basement price of $12,000.
  • Didn't care for the previous governor's official car (a Ford Crown Victoria with 80,000 miles and a busted heater) so started taking a State Police helicopter for transportation.
  • Then he replaced the Crown Vic with a brand-new Cadillac DTS, at roughly double the cost.
  • Finally, in an attempt to win back some public favor, he proposed some "property tax relief" that will affect an incredibly small percentage of taxpayers, while simultaneously hiking taxes on businesses.

So, how does the Boston Globe, who bent over backwards to put Mr. Patrick in the corner office, handle this?

As any decent Praetorian Guard would -- by downplaying and deflecting the criticism. Note that the Globe doesn't mention the cost of the drapes ($12,000), the wife's assistant ($72,000), or the cost of fixing the heater in that Crown Vic (probably a couple hundred bucks, less if done by the State Police).

The underlying message of the Globe's editorial to Governor Patrick: we put you in there, and in four years we can take you out.

For years, the Boston Globe was the media powerhouse in Massachusetts. They've lost a tremendous amount of their clout, as their subscriptions and sales plummet and their staff shrinks more and more. The explosion of the New Media and the ownership by the New York Times have not helped. They see Patrick as part of their way back into power and influence.

Such a fragile reed they cling to.


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Comments (18)

Yeah.Except one th... (Below threshold)
89:

Yeah.

Except one thing: Fixing the heater would maybe *look* chaper if done by the State Police; but not in reality. That is, unless they have full time repair workers that could fix this. Right?

I really don't know a soul ... (Below threshold)

I really don't know a soul who takes seriously anything the Globe editorial board says.

Perhaps he'll soon have <a ... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Perhaps he'll soon have his own manservant, just like Teddy.

And the wife does what, exa... (Below threshold)

And the wife does what, exactly?

If she isn't the official they elected, she shouldn't have an "Chief of Staff" paid by the taxpayers.

Then again, being a former Clintonista means never having to pay for anything yourself.

My bad on the link; hope <a... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

My bad on the link; hope this works.

From the editorial:<p... (Below threshold)
Mark:

From the editorial:

Still, each governor should be entitled to dignified surroundings that reflect his personal tastes.

You see, he has expensive tastes, and he is entitled to spend $12,000 of taxpayers money on curtains!

As bad as this idiot is, he... (Below threshold)
BrandonInBatonRouge:

As bad as this idiot is, he's still not as bad as *MY* governor. Granted, my governor is Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana...


Right after Katrina, the governor's staff blew $500,000+ to remodel some rooms in the state capitol which are not accessable to the public.

This was when the state's budget appeared to be a sinkhole and many state agencies were contemplating massive layoffs of workers.

http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/politics/2144847.html

It just goes to show that a... (Below threshold)
Mike:

It just goes to show that all the new media outlets made available to us have had an impact on traditional mediums. I work with the national association of broadcasters and we're looking to the FCC to modernize the outdated ownership rules that have prevented our local broadcasters from experimenting with new formats and approaches to local news.

Will there be a special sal... (Below threshold)

Will there be a special salute when the Cadillac drives by?

Liberals are the worlds gre... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Liberals are the worlds greatest spenders of other people's money.

"Property tax relief" is th... (Below threshold)
George:

"Property tax relief" is the scam that Gov. Rendell is pushing here in Pennsylvania. Immediately after his first election, his highest priority was raising the state income tax rate. That, too, went under the guise of property tax relief. Not surprisingly, that didn't stop my property tax from going up nearly 50%.

Now that he has been relected, his highest priority once again is raising tax rates; this time it's the sales tax. And again, it is under the guise of "property tax relief."

Is that S.O.B. incapable of understanding that a budget can be balanced without raising taxes? I think it is time for a recall in Pennsylvania. Get that tax and spend idiot out of office now.

Just read the fascinating s... (Below threshold)

Just read the fascinating story of how the Boston Globe came to be eternally indebted to the Democratic Party -- in John Farrell's biography of Tip O'Neill. It seems that in the 1950's, the Globe was at risk of going out of business because their fiercest competitor, the Brahmin Republican-owned Herald had succeeded in being awarded the FCC license for the major television rights for the Boston market (Channel 5) -- so they went to Tip O'Neill and the Dems in Congress opened an investigation that resulted in the revocation of the license and hence, the rescue of the Globe from ruin.

And they're still paying off the Party to this day!

Wait, am I missing the joke... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Wait, am I missing the joke? You're complaining about an executive administration that is recklessly overspending, while at the same time offering some disingenuous "tax relief that will affect an incredibly small percentage of taxpayers"?

And then you're criticizing a group that is defending this executive?

Where's the punchline?

"Liberals are the worlds gr... (Below threshold)
WHIZTARD!:

"Liberals are the worlds greatest spenders of other people's money."

Really? No shit!

Glad you agree. Nobody spe... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Glad you agree. Nobody spends the people's money like a liberal. And yet they always want more. Taxes, taxes, taxes.

Liberals are sick, sick people.

Jo,Show this to th... (Below threshold)
Cyrus:

Jo,

Show this to the next cheating liberal frauds you see. This will shut their lying mouths up for sure. I want to know what they can say after this! Ha!

http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm

Interesting chart, Cyrus. I... (Below threshold)

Interesting chart, Cyrus. I don't know if it's interesting enough to repeat, but that's beside the point.

Two things occur to me, though:

1) Reagan and Bush I were spending money to run the Soviet Union into the ground and end the Cold War; Bush II is fighting the War on Terror. Bill Clinton had the "peace dividend," remember?

2) Funny how FDR's World War II debt is quietly omitted.

3) The author showed debt as a percentage of GDP, which is a decent shot, but why not adjust for inflation?

4) The real scandal in the federal budget has to be how every year, more and more of the budget is in the "mandatory" category. The portion of the budget that can actually be influenced is getting smaller and smaller. The great Will Franklin pointed this out a couple weeks ago.

Gee, I wonder if the author of that paper that two people thought worth citing might have had an agenda...

J.


Brian, whatever meager amou... (Below threshold)

Brian, whatever meager amount of property tax relief the middle class would see (not will see) would be more than eaten up by the increases in utility charges that result from the closing of the "loophole" that exempts utilities from paying personal property taxes on poles, cables, etc. That cost increase goes right back into the rate setting formula and everybody will pay it. (And while the "savings" are supposed to be passed on to the communities for "property tax relief," there is no way to insure that any community won't simply use the money to add more teachers to the payroll -- thus failing to insulate homeowners from the pressure of property taxes.)




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